These words – casually attributed to Brigham Young – were uttered as the advance party of Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – LDS) crested the Wasatch Range and looked upon the eastern edge of the Great Basin and the Great Salt Lake. I spent an extended time in this valley, up against the snow-covered middle Rocky Mountains, mostly alone as Holly had flown east for Natalie’s baby shower, and to see friends and family.
Brigham Young’s words feel apt today, not just for the beauty of the valley, but for the abundance, respite and safety it offered. We felt the same as we crested US6 at Sheep’s Creek (no creek, no sheep) and descended into Spanish Fork and the other towns along the Wasatch Range. A similar pattern emerged: we were immediately drawn to small town people and places, but with a more nuanced and complex experience as I lingered. In total, though, I was eager to leave – and not merely in the vein of our usual wanderlust, but actually eager to leave.
In the ensuing weeks, we have traversed Idaho and part of Montana. And as I sit on the bank of the swollen Yellowstone River, I have no overarching sense of, well, anything, other than Wherever I Am Is The Place. For Brigham Young, the point was to seek, not to journey. That was his, and many’s downfall. Here are some images from our journey.
We’re here over a cold and rainy holiday weekend, frankly preoccupied with a few things. Some days the journey is like that. We’ll head east soon, and hope that the prevailing winds help Sandy’s mpg. We’re eager to see Jeffery, Bethany and Jamie in South Dakota and Jeff and Sarah in Minnesota. And of course, we are breathless waiting for a brand new person to arrive in Chicago.
5 thoughts on “This Is The Place”
You seem very content. One part about traveling is always thinking about what is ahead. It is hard sometimes to just be here now.
Idaho is lovely. We spent about 3 weeks in the southern part a couple of years ago.
Enjoy your journey back east. And congrats on your new arrival.
Great blog post Joe. Idaho sounds beautiful. Love, Carole
I love following your travels. I’ll never get to do this myself so I savor every post, picture and drawing.
Just wanted to say hello. I parked next to you guys in West Texas near the border by that Mexican restaurant. I’m the one that had the Casita camper trailer. Now I’m wishing I had a short bus!!! I made it back to Michigan after 75 day and 7500 mile trip all the way to Arizona and back. I’m now back to work in the upper peninsula of Michigan in the Sault Ste. Marie area if you happened to stumble this way contact me.
I’m working on the Soo locks.
Should be here until November then back to Arizona for about two months of the winter.
If I had a short bus like yours I could be camping right here in town that employers laydown yard where they store construction equipment. I really wish I would’ve went into a school bus or a van just for this reason. Staying in the camper just isn’t feasible for this job. Long-term Steve places are few and far between here in Sault Ste. Marie. There’s one guy from dayshift that is doing the van life thing up here staying in the laydown yard he’s got the right idea!!! The pay scale is good but no per diem to cover expenses and no way to write off expenses anymore. The rich can write off expenses!!! Hope all is well with you guys take care!!!
Great to hear from you, Matt. Check your email!